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Sailing Daily NewsPage
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Published Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday

17 December 1999

Issue # 112

Playstation Record Attempt Lasts 8 Hours

After starting from Ambrose Light at 1902 GMT/1602 eastern Playstation was only 8 hours into her Atlantic record attempt when disaster struck.  An unexpected 62 knot squall overtook the 105 foot catamaran.  During this squall the boat turned dead down wind.  With the boat in this mode the mainsail heavily contacted the lazy jacks.  This broke 4 battens in the fully battened mainsail.  As there were not enough spares on board, Playstation decided to abort the record attempt.

Crewman Andrew Preece reported by e-mail, "We're all pretty disappointed but there's not a lot we can do and not a lot we could have done. we were being fairly cautious and not pushing too hard but the big one came in with no rain and didn't show up on the radar."

The105 foot Playstation showed potential. In the first 5 hours the average speed was 25.6 knots.  Reports from onboard indicate that Playsation achieved speeds in the mid 30 knot range under two reefs and Solent Jib.

It should be noted that Playsation's main is 676 square meters.  The three Code Zero boats are supposed to have mains of 610 meters.  It has been speculated that Playstation may have more batten problems due to the size of her main.

As the first of the new maxi cats to sail Playstation's batten problems are not unexpected.  The loads on these boats cause difficulty in properly engineering them.  The positive for Playstation is that they will have the most time of all the entrants to develop their boat and make it reliable.  


Sailor of The Year Update

Today marks one week until voting for the Torresen Sailing Site Sailor of the Year closes.  You can cast your vote on the Sailor of the Year home page.

Casting your vote gives you a chance to enter a drawing for the following sailing prizes: a 2000 Ultimate Sailing Calendar, a Torresen Sailing Site T-shirt or a free copy of Seahorse Magazine, or a free subscription to Great Lakes Current.

The sailor with the best chance at winning is Dawn Riley.  She leads the voting for female sailor of the year with 59% of the vote.  The men's vote is led by Giovanni Soldinin with 50% of the votes.  The latest votes have been for Steve Fossett and Pat Connerny.


British Nautical Awards

The BT British Nautical Awards are a series of honors covering both sailing and power boating.  The presentation of the BT YJA 'Yachtsman of the Year', MDL YJA 'Young Sailor of the Year' and the eight Category Awards will take place at the Millennium Boat Show Ball, which will be held at the London Hilton, Park Lane, London on Friday 7 January 2000.

There are several sailors nominated for these awards.  On the list for Yachtsman of the Year are Laser champion Ben Ainslie and Adrian Stead skipper of the top scoring Mumm 36 at the Admirals Cup.  Stead is also nominated for offshore sailor of the year along with Around Alone sailor Mike Garside and Alex Thomson.

Competing for the Inshore Sailor of the year award are Shirley Robertson (also a nominee for the Torresen Sailing Site Sailor of the Year award) and Ian Percy an accomplished Finn sailor.



(C)update:

The 6 semi final teams are preparing for the semi finals.  Most of the news is off the water.  The America One auction with sponsor Lycos is up to $ 40,300.  

Team Dennis Conner has signed a new official sponsor.  Earth Tech is the name of the company and it's business is weather forecasting.  Earth Tech uses computer simulations to produce hour by hour forecasts.  The sailing team on Stars and Stripes uses this to select sail inventory and devise advantageous tactics.  This would seem to be a practical addition for Team Dennis Conner.

Other than the above stories the teams are publicly quiet.  Certainly the current top priority is modifying boats, relaunching them and optimizing and securing the funding to complete all the necessary projects.